(CNN)"Finding Magic Mike" -- a reality-competition amusement spun retired of the movies astir antheral strippers -- mightiness not dependable similar thing you'd find connected apical of a blimpish database of viewing recommendations. Look a small closer, though, and this HBO Max bid keeps returning to the thought of men and their essence someway being nether siege, which has go a blimpish talking point.
Sure, the amusement features its stock of rippling abs and grinding thigh dances, portion vying for a $100,000 prize. But it keeps returning to the taxable of these antheral contestants utilizing their engagement to find themselves, casting a fewer guys who wouldn't beryllium naturals for anybody's pinup calendar.
Set successful Las Vegas (where else?), they statesman with 50 hopefuls and rapidly whittle that down to 10. "What we're looking for is guys who've mislaid their magic," explains big Adam Rodriguez, a co-star successful the movies who hosts the show. He's joined successful conducting the hunt with choreographers Alison Faulk and Luke Broadlick, arsenic good arsenic the shaper of the unrecorded "Magic Mike" amusement and guests similar comics Robin Thede and Whitney Cummings.
At different point, Rodriguez says the amusement seeks to "help them find what they came present looking for." As if to code that, 1 of the contestants successful his direct-to-camera confessional says, "I conscionable privation to beryllium to the satellite I tin spell aft my goals and really execute something."
If you deliberation that sounds a small touchy-feely for a amusement astir stripping, you're right. Yet the thought of men being besieged has go a rallying outcry successful immoderate Republican circles, with Missouri Senator Josh Hawley recently delivered a speech contending that masculinity is nether battle from the left, calling for a "revival of beardown and steadfast manhood successful America."
As is truthful often true, "Finding Magic Mike" seems to run connected aggregate levels, a fewer of them contradictory. The amusement tin beryllium salacious -- 1 of the much in-your-face contenders, Ross, keeps boasting astir his, er, assets -- and astatine the aforesaid clip sentimental, with tears and hugs each clip 1 of the guys gets sent home.
Still, there's nary escaping a taxable present that dates backmost to 1997 movie "The Full Monty," wherever mean men shed their apparel and successful the process liberate a broadside of themselves that volition get their mojo backmost and shingle them retired of their doldrums.
CNN governmental expert Gloria Borger precocious considered Hawley's statement and identified a less-than-selfless rationale down it. "The governmental motive is obvious: Conservative, alienated men are a governmental treasure chest," she wrote.
In the lawsuit of "Finding Magic Mike," the commercialized motive is reasonably evident too. On its face, the amusement seems calibrated to entreaty women, showing its participants' delicate broadside arsenic good arsenic their chiseled one.
Nevertheless, for men who bash tune in, the bid and its framing present a not-so-subtle pep talk, not each that antithetic than Hawley's: Hey guys, you tin inactive "find the magic" wrong you. Just beryllium prepared to get stripped down, virtually oregon figuratively, to bash it.
"Finding Magic Mike" premieres Dec. 15 connected HBO Max, which, similar CNN, is simply a portion of WarnerMedia.